September 1, 1802

A poem by William Wordsworth

We had a female Passenger who came
From Calais with us, spotless in array,
A white-robed Negro, like a lady gay,
Yet downcast as a woman fearing blame;
Meek, destitute, as seemed, of hope or aim
She sate, from notice turning not away,
But on all proffered intercourse did lay
A weight of languid speech, or to the same
No sign of answer made by word or face:
Yet still her eyes retained their tropic fire,
That, burning independent of the mind,
Joined with the lustre of her rich attire
To mock the Outcast. O ye Heavens, be kind!
And feel, thou Earth, for this afflicted Race!

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